Mighty Mouse cleaning tips

Everybody knows that after a while, you loose the ability to scroll down with the mighty mouse.  This is the most used scrolling direction on the mouse.  So if you are in this situation, don’t throw the towel yet.  

Here are the solutions I tried:

  • The one from Apple itself.
  • Some of the ones in here.
  • Cleaning the ball using a cooton swab and rubbing alcohol.  It did the work a few times!
  • Blowing pressured air around the ball.

It worked a couple of times.  But lately, nothing was putting a smile on my face.  The mouse was really getting on my nervers.  I was about to “scrap” the mouse and buy a new one.  But hey, I might as well try to open it and clean it.  Worst case, I will break it and it will still go in the garbage.

So I watch this great video from Julian Schrader and decided on a sick day to just do it.  

First, let’s get the tools.  Second, wash the exterior of the mouse.  We don’t want to contaminate the patient during the operation.


Bad news: I cut my finger while trying to remove the ring with my knife.  So a few days after recovering from the cut, I decided to continue the delicate operation and use a small screw-driver to finish removing the ring.

I damaged the ring a little bit, but who cares! You never see it when the mouse is on a surface.  And once again, I was ready to throw this baby away.

I disconnected the cables, unscrewed the scrolling case, and voila! Look at the dirt inside:



Now I understand why the mouse was so picky.  Look at the amount of dirt on the right scroll wheel (the one used while scrolling down).  Mystery solved!

Now the easy stuff: cleaning the parts with a cotton swab and rubbing alcohol.  A clean wheel will look like this:


You can also take all four wheel and put them side by side.  They are magnetized, so they love each other and stay together.  Cleaning with the cotton is a lot easier.


Now before screwing the scrolling case back into the mouse, make sure the ball scrolls properly.  Gently put your finger on the ball, scroll and watch the wheels to see if they really scroll.  The scroll down function was still not going as smooth as I wanted.  So I opened the scrolling case again and found the problem:  the magnetic wheels do not have to touch the metal plates.  Otherwise, it puts a pressured on the wheel and you have to apply a lot of pressure on the ball to make it scroll.


Finally, I reassembled the mouse, anxiously wondering if the scrolling experience will have improved.

Once in a while, blow some pressured air all over the place to make sure there nothing left, especially before putting back all the pieces together.

Now the ring was originally glued to the mouse casing. Instead of using some crazy glue and because I guess I’ll hae to repeat the operation in the future, I decided to use rubber cement glue.  You put glue on both sides, way for it to dry and then put the ring back.  The remaining glue can be removed with the fingers.


Overall, this was a fairly simple operation.  The worst steps were:

  • Removing the ring.  I broke it a bit while forcing with my screw-driver.  So do it very carefully.
  • Putting back the cables in their sockets

Now my mouse is like new.  What a great feeling of scrolling down and see the page going up!

UPDATE: This video seems to be a bit better, especially for the tool he’s crafting for removing the ring.